Saturday, June 20, 2009

Alton Brown's The Chewy

I have been hearing so many great reviews on The Chewy, and having a 3-day weekend in front of me, I had some time to sit down in the kitchen and bake up a batch. I've always felt the Nestle Tollhouse recipe is only good for dough eating or eating right out of the oven since as soon as they cool a bit, they become crispy and greasy and tasteless.

I was particularly interested since this recipe uses bread flour, and requires the dough to be chilled. (I chilled the dough in between batches as well.) This recipe gives an excellent cookie that will stay chewy even if left out overnight...and the flavor is the best! I was worried this would result in a cake-like cookie (of which I’m not a fan of), but it was just the PERFECT chewy texture I had hoped for. The cookie seemed a bit greasy right out of the oven, but give it some time- when I reached for a cookie later in the day, it didn’t appear greasy at all. It was very easy to make.

Alton recommends using an ice cream scoop, which I used. The cookies spread out (more than what I’d hoped for- they look like cookie pancakes), and the size itself was quite large. Next time, I will make the cookie size smaller- and thus will lower the temperature to 350 degrees. I experimented with the baking times, and mine took a total of 10 minutes: Bake 5 minutes, Rotate, Bake additional 5 minutes. Voila, they’re done! Next time, I will try experimenting different chips for a wider variety. If you like a chewy and delicious cookie, this is one you must try! An AMAZING Chocolate Chip Cookie!

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2-1/4 cups bread flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg (I set mine to room temperature)
1 egg yolk (I set mine to room temperature)
2 Tbsp milk (I set mine to room temperature)
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used an 11.5-oz bag of Nestle Chocolate Chunks)

Hardware:
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets
Mixer

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

3. In a large mixer with a paddle attachment, pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar.

4. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. (The mixture will appear liquidy at first. Start the mixer on low speed until the sugars and melted butter are incorporated. Once they are, they increase the speed to medium.)

5. Add the egg, yolk, milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

6. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Be careful not to overwork the dough- Once the flour is incorporated into the wet mixture, stop mixing.
7. Stir in the chocolate chips. Don’t over-mix here either. (I added the chips slightly before the flour was all mixed in to minimize the flour mixing.)

8. Chill the dough. (I recommend chilling for 3-4 hours.)
9. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
10. Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. (I baked for 5 minutes, rotated, and baked an additional 5 minutes.)

11. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Yield: 16 large cookies
Source: Alton Brown

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